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SBD2

The US Navy's Douglas SBD Dauntless carrier launched dive-bomber was outstandingly successful in World War II. The SBD's present on 7 December 1941 were armed with a .50 caliber machine gun in the fuselage and a .30 caliber machine gun in the rear position which was manned by the second crew member. The machine could carry a 1,000lb bomb in a pivot cradle and two 100lb bombs beneath the wings. It could attain 255 mph and had a range of 1,345 miles. The revolutionary all-metal stressed skin design imparted a strength that, together with its wing structure, made it particularly suited to dive-bomb use. Those flown from Enterprise played but a small part in the events at Pearl Harbor but, together with SBDs from Yorktown, a crucial part in the Battle of Midway (Midway, Battle of). The SBD3 was the version most used in combat during the war as a whole.

See also: Midway, Battle of; dive-bomb; Enterprise; Pearl Harbor; Yorktown

You can find out more about SBDs in the following Osprey book:

COMBAT AIRCRAFT 10 SBD Dauntless Units of World War 2